Melanson grabs spelling bee title in just three rounds

It took just three rounds for third-grader Allie Melanson to be named the winner of Frenship Independent School District’s spelling bee last Friday, but it took another seven rounds for a second-place winner to be named.

All six spellers, one from each of Frenship’s elementary schools, survived their first words in round one. The second round claimed one speller, but round three claimed four students to the words “migraine,” “whetstone,” “incapable” and “dimension.”

Melanson, whose Ugg-clad feet barely reached the floor in the library of her own new school, Oak Ridge Elementary, was the sole survivor of round three with a correct spelling of the word “colic.” She was called back up to the microphone to confirm her win with the word “meditate.”

The four spellers that fell in round three were then called back to the microphone to determine who would receive the second-place trophy.

After three more rounds, there were just two students left: Bennett Elementary’s Jane Whiting and North Ridge Elementary’s Alliana Detorio. Perhaps the two girls had really just needed to get over spelling nerves; they continued for another four rounds on words like “eavesdropper,” “altitude,” “evaluate” and “reprieve.”

In the end, Detorio correctly spelled the words “elegant” and “medley” to claim the second-place trophy.

Melanson’s parents, Kim and Michael Melanson, were on hand to watch their daughter win the event.

“She’s just been an excellent reader since before kindergarten,” said Kim Melanson. To prepare for the bee, she said her daughter had been reading the dictionary and playing with spelling applications on an iPhone.

The regional bee will have middle school students as well as elementary school students competing on March 6.

Allie Melanson said she was not sure she would win coming into the bee.

“I knew I’d do my best, and it didn’t really matter to me,” she said.

To prepare for the regional bee, she said, “I’m going to keep studying harder.”

Other contestants in the FISD bee included Ethyn Tyson, of Westwind Elementary School; Emily Baum, of Crestview Elementary School; and Caitlin Reid, of Willow Bend Elementary School.

Each contestant was named the spelling champion of their own school before competing in the districtwide bee.

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